So you’ve given your Marks and Spencer-esque spiel, care to elaborate?
Of course. These are custom in-ear monitors from California-based Noble Audio. It says the Prestige are “the world’s most luxurious bespoke in-ear monitor”. But is that a truly objective viewpoint, do you think?
How bespoke are we talking?
I’m glad you asked. The answer: very. The Prestige are custom-made to fit your ears using 3D-scanning wizardry. Over 2.5 million points of data are recorded per ear, from which a solid piece of material is rendered. The process takes up to 30 hours, depending on the choice of material. Or how freaky your canals are.
Presumably the end-game is better sound?
Undoubtedly. They'll kick your OEM-bundled earphones into a Cockney marsh. We're pretty certain about this because the Prestige in-ears are based on another pair of expensive earphones by Noble Audio, the K10U, which we've been lucky enough to have ears-on with. Both them and these have no fewer than 10 drivers crammed into their tiny form, assigned to bass, midrange, mid/high, high and even super-high frequencies. Compare this with, say, Apple's EarPods - which have one driver in the left, and one driver in the right - and you start to get an impression of why the asking price is so high.
You said earlier they’re made from wood?
Not just any old wood. Hand-picked exotic woods from the US, Africa and South East Asia. In fact, not just wood. There's a choice of 30 different materials including carbon fibre, aluminium webbing and actual, real honeycomb. The insides of the things are hollowed-out by hand to fit the electronics. It's a fresh kind of madness, we tells thee.
Still though, £1650?
Yep, well, the Prestige in-ears do also come with a detachable two-pin cable, a crush-proof carrying case called the Storm Box, two Noble Audio amp bands, cleaning tool, ownership card, and a two-year limited warranty. And a lifetime of sneering at any earphone with a white cable, of course.
Interested? Head over to Noble Audio’s website and get yourself booked in for a scan.